EMC could release VMware

Strong results for the storage vendor lead to hints it may sell off its stake in virtualisation giant VMware.

EMC posted stronger-than-expected quarterly results late yesterday, and said it was open to giving VMware its independence.

Joe Tucci, EMC's chief executive, hinted on a results conference call with analysts that it might be prepared to spin off his company's 86 per cent stake in the virtualisation vendor.

Commenting that EMC aims to "optimise its asset," Tucci said that part of that might be to give VMware its independence, but "that doesn't mean you spin it, or you won't spin it," he added.

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Tucci said whatever action EMC decided to take over VMware would not be during this year. But his comments appeared to be at odds with statements made in May that EMC would not divest its VMware share.

The possible u-turn increased VMware's share price by more than 10 per cent, after dipping earlier this week at the news that the vendor had failed to meet analysts' second quarter forecasts.

EMC's second-quarter net income rose 13 per cent to $377.5 million (187 million), or 18 cents per share, from $334.4 million, or 16 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had expected profit of 17 cents per share.

Last year, VMware shares jumped 79 per cent on its initial public offering (IPO) debut.

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